Continuous Bucket Elevators: Consider Your Requirements

March 21, 2019

Establishing your requirements when purchasing a continuous bucket elevator is key to a successful install and operation. At UniTrak, we always thoroughly review each customer’s application to develop a complete set of the needed requirements. In this blog, we highlight some of the questions that buyers should consider for developing their requirements when purchasing continuous bucket elevators.

Continuous bucket elevators: questions to consider for determining requirements

Material/Product

What material or product will the bucket elevator be moving, and in what amounts? What are the properties and characteristics of the material or product – is it sticky, for example, or does it tend to cake or pack? What is the temperature of the material or product? Is the material or product susceptible to cross-contamination? Is the material or product toxic or hazardous, and does it generate an explosive dust?

Process

What process will the bucket elevator be involved in? What upstream equipment will be feeding the bucket elevator? Into what downstream equipment will the bucket elevator be discharging? Are there regulatory requirements that the bucket elevator must meet? What controls and safety measures does the process require to be installed on the bucket elevator? Will the process be running continuously or intermittently – how many hours per day and how many days per year?

Layout

How should the bucket elevator be configured to accommodate the process layout? What are the key equipment dimensions that you will require – infeed length, discharge length, and vertical elevation?

Environment

What is the ambient temperature and humidity where the bucket elevator will be located? Will the elevator be exposed to the elements?

Food-grade applications

What are the standards for food safety and cleanability that the bucket elevator must meet? Must food be protected from cross-contamination as it transits the elevator? How will you clean the elevator?

Cleaning and maintenance

What are your cleaning and hygiene requirements? Do you require key replacement parts to be kept on site? Do you require condition monitoring sensors or technology to be fitted on to the bucket elevator? Do your internal resources have the time, expertise, and tools needed to maintain the bucket elevator or will you require the assistance of the OEM or third parties?

Installation and commissioning

Will you require OEM or third-party expertise and assistance to install and commission the bucket elevator, as well as train your staff? Asking and answering this question is an especially good idea when purchasing a new type of conveyor – having OEM or third-party support allows your operating and maintenance people to have hands-on learning with experts.

Other relevant questions to consider in this category are: Have you considered all the issues relating to integrating the bucket elevator with upstream and downstream equipment? What level of post-installation support are you expecting from the OEM and are they capable of delivering it?

All of the above are examples of some the questions you may want to consider when developing your requirements for continuous bucket elevators. Experienced equipment manufacturers will be able to help you develop a comprehensive set of requirements, including undertaking material testing where warranted. The important thing to remember is that your requirements must be as complete and accurate as possible to ensure a successful start-up and subsequent performance.

UniTrak has over 50-years’ experience in helping customers the world over with their bulk material conveying needs. Our equipment lineup includes TipTrak™ gentle handling continuous bucket elevators, Powderflight aeromechanical conveyors, UniFlex flexible screw conveyors, KleanTrak sanitary belt conveyors, and Bagstander bulk bag unloaders and fillers. To find out more about how we can help with your bulk material conveying needs, please contact our sales team.

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